What Does KEKW Mean in Twitch Chat and Where Did It Originate?


What Does KEKW Mean in Twitch Chat and Where Did It Originate?

Abhimannu Das
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  • Popular Twitch chat emote KEKW originated from a mix of World of Warcraft references and a Spanish video that went viral in meme culture.
  • The emote was popularized in 2019 by xQC and AdmiralBulldog and it saw a spike in usage rate throughout 2020.
  • LUL and LULW are slowly being replaced by KEKW in terms of current usage and streamers are also implementing custom versions of the emote.

KEKW and Twitch chat are inseparable and if you have ever been on any Twitch stream, you are very likely to have encountered others using it. The emote like many others on the platform, has its own history. Kappa, ResidentSleeper, and controversial PogChamp have similar tales but we’ll get into them another day. KEKW was birthed into Twitch chat due to a famous Spanish video of a man laughing and it was combined with World of Warcraft slang. KEKW has become one of the most commonly used emotes on Twitch chat, let’s find out how. 

The original video that gave birth to Twitch Chat’s KEKW Emote

You can check out the original video featuring comedian Juan Joya Borja. The subtitles are loosely translated but you will get the idea of what the two men are saying in Spanish. The way the famous “Spanish Laughing Man” reacts and laughs throughout the segment is what made the video viral. Long before the emote was implemented to Twitch Chat as KEKW, meme creators used their own custom templates.

What Does KEKW Mean in Twitch Chat?

What Does KEKW Mean in Twitch Chat and Where Did It Originate?
KEKW originated from World of Warcraft. Image Credit: Blizzard

KEKW is a FrankerFaceZ emote that was designed to represent laughter whenever something funny happens during streams. It became one of the most popular emotes of 2020 and is based on the El Risitas clip mentioned earlier. If you are familiar with LULW, it is essentially a different version of LOL but with a W attached at the end. KEK has a very similar story, with the three-letter word being the Korean equivalent of LOL. In World of Warcraft, if you write LOL to a player of the opposing faction, it gets transcribed as KEK. So if you are from the Alliance and type LOL to a Horde player, they will see KEK in chat and vice-versa. The W is used at the end to make exaggerated versions of emotes on Twitch (LUL and LULW, for example). 

How Did KEKW Become Popular on Twitch Chat?

The general consensus is that the emote became popular on certain Twitch channels like xQc and AdmiralBulldog which spiked its usage. LUL was one of the most popular emotes but KEKW is slowly taking its place with its usage growing rapidly. Streamers have started adopting the emote with unique variants as part of their subscriber emotes and there are other versions of the emote that are showing up including KEKWOW and KEKWhat. 

RELATED:  What is PogChamp And Why Did Twitch Ban It?

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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